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May 7, 2008 12:27 PM

High quality nonstick?

What are some good brands or types of high quality nonstick pans out there? When I think of that, what immediately comes to mind is hard-anodized aluminum, but I heard the lining on those tends to wear out and it isn't dishwasher safe, and that it really isn't even nonstick.

High quality nonstick seems to be an oxymoron, but do I have to stick to buying and replacing cheap nonstick or has nonstick technology improved lately?

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  1. I believe references to anodized wearing down would concern an anodized interior, as the non-stick stuff is a coating on top of the metal. Consumer Reports gives a good rating to Anolonm FWIW.

    1. Forgot about Cook's Illustrated. They liked All-Clad best, but close behind and much less expensive were Circulon and WearEver. These two got high marks for durability.

      1. The "best buy" for a 12" non-stick, according to Cook's Illustrated, is the Farberware Millenium Edition. We bought one awhile back, and it's great. Nice, heat-resistant handle (not for oven use, but great for handling on the stove), nice solid aluminum design, good non-stick coating.

        1. IMHO "high quality nonstick" is an oxymoron. The fact is that all or almost all nonstick pans use a layer of PTFE (aka Teflon). And that layer can come off. Sure, a good pan, properly cared for, will last for years. But odds are that eventually, through abuse, accident, or act of God, you'll lose the nonstick coating and it will be time for a new pan.

          I buy Lincoln Wear-Ever commercial nonstick pans at a restaurant supply house and do my best not to ruin them. Relatively heavy aluminum, riveted handles, thick nonstick coating, about $25-50 depending on size. If I'm conscientious but not fanatical, they only require replacement every five years or so.

          6 Replies
          1. re: alanbarnes

            I could be wrong, but Swiss Diamond doesn't look to me as if it has a layer that would wear off.



            "Swiss Diamond is fused to the pan, rather than be layered, as with most other non-stick coatings. It's guaranteed never to crack, blister, or peel off. So durable it is metal utensil and dishwasher safe."

            I use metal utensils on mine all the time, btw.

            1. re: MMRuth

              You may want to take it easy with the metal utensils on the Swiss Diamond. According to this article, it's just ordinary PTFE cookware with marketing hype that borders on the fraudulent.


              1. re: alanbarnes

                I know that it does have PFTEs, but the surface really is quite different from that of other non-stick pans that I've seen/used. I've seen that article before - have to say, the only reason I originally bought the pan was b/c it was the only one I could find that was big enough when I was cooking at my Mother's one Christmas. So, I didn't do any research into it ahead of time. I do enjoy using it.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  AFAIK there's absolutely nothing wrong with the pans; I was more focused on the fact that the guy who wrote the article easily scratched the coating with a fork. So using a metal implement might shorten the pan's useful life.

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Thanks - I'll take a look tomorrow and see if I can discern any scratches - usually I'm just flipping pieces of meat or fish etc.

            2. re: alanbarnes

              I agree, I have several non stick aluminum pans from the resturant supply store down the street from me. I do have one 8" All Clad non stick I use for omelettes but I find the less expensive non stick pans but commercial quality, do just fine at much less cost.

            3. I don't know if you'll find this helpful, but my favourite nonstick cookware is well-seasoned Lodge cast iron. You can cook other things that don't require a nonstick surface in it to season it, and before you know it you've got a fabulous, durable nonstick surface that can take all kinds of abuse. Not that I advocate abusing your cookware, but you get my point. It's great for building those arm-muscles, too, and we swear that cast iron really makes things taste better! Just beware of acidic foods, dish soap (don't use it), and remember that you can't store foods in cast iron.